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iving n g Smart L ivi ivin ng Weekly Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • January 29, 2014

Right in Our Region

Meet Byron’s Super Bowl Champ By Paul Anthony Arco

S

ean Considine will have a much different view of this year’s Super Bowl. This time last year, the Byron, Ill., native was in the middle of the action, as a standout special teams player for the champion Baltimore Ravens. Thanks, in part, to a big special teams play, Considine and the Ravens edged out the San Francisco 49ers in a 34-31

thriller, to win the NFL championship. “I’m pretty lucky to end up with a Super Bowl ring on my finger,” he says. “What a great way to cap off my career.” Considine retired after the 2012-13 season and returned home to Byron with his wife, Nicole, and their five children, to live closer to family and friends.

Continued on p. 20

• Get All the SAVINGS You Deserve from Local Businesses

Beware the Health ‘Scare’ • Cozy Up Your Home • Refreshing Game Day Dips • Regional Dining Guide Banks: Standardizing Mobile Payments • Rockford’s New Sports Tourneys • Make Meaningful Friendships

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In This Issue Right in Our Region: Super Bowl! ............................ Cover & p. 20 Your Home Home Furnishing Tips ................................11 Inspiration & Worship ..............................12 Your Kitchen Game Day Dips ........................................15 . Your Outings Excitement Builds for New Tournaments ..17 Your Health Three Things Patients Should Know ..........25 Your Fun ................................................... 27 . On the Town ............................................. 29 Your Money Why Banks are Wary of New Tech..............33 Tips Meaningful Friendships Matter ...................31

Smart L iving Weekly ™

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes Executive Editor Janine Pumilia

Managing Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Associate Editor/Special Projects Editor Karla Nagy Senior Staff Writer/Promotions Coordinator Paul Anthony Arco Graphics Director Blake Nunes Contributing Writer Jim Killam General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes Account Executives Steve Blachford, Brian Hughes Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Website www.NWQSmartLiving.com Published by Hughes Media Corp. 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 lhughes@northwestquarterly.com Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2014 by Hughes Media Corp., 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

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Do We Make Our Own ‘Luck?’

I

’m never quite sure whether I believe in “luck,” and I don’t like the idea of praying for one or the other Super Bowl (or any other) teams to win, since I’m pretty sure God loves them both. I prefer to focus on the extraordinary skills displayed by fine athletes, and the hours of hard work and preparation for that one big opportunity. Today I happened across two stories that reminded me that no matter how much faith we have, to a certain extent we all make our own “luck.” One was a press release from the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, deservedly touting their success in sealing deals for 10 important tournaments that will be held in Rockford the next few years, in fields of bowling, lacrosse, baseball and water skiing. I’ve no doubt that much hard work went into organizing these victories, which bring a much-needed financial boon to the local economy. Good things seldom just fall into the old lap without effort. You can read more about these on p. 17. The other story is one written for Northwest Quarterly Magazine by our wonderful managing editor, Chris Linden, about the good work happening at Rockford’s EIGERlab. This job growth engine is helping to build companies of the future -- companies capable of bringing jobs and wealth to the community. It’s a business incubator and accelerator, and a terrific example of a bunch of people committed to making things happen rather than sitting around whining. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people, and I don’t pretend to understand how or why things unfold the way they do in the great scheme of things. What I do know is that, when we put our energies into becoming stronger, smarter and more capable, we’re far less pliable in the hands of Lady Luck. Enjoy the game! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor

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FUN AT CHURCH! Join us at Court Street United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. every Sunday to see what God has in store for you. Bring the whole family! There’s something for everyone to enjoy including: · Exciting music · Groups for all interests · Children’s activities · Taize services · Summer camps for kids · Much, much more! The public is welcome to all of our activities and services at Court Street United Methodist Church! Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

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Tried and True Wisdom for Furnishing Your Home By Janine Pumilia, executive editor

W

hen it comes to choosing furniture, most Midwesterners expect their purchases to last awhile, unlike folks in some coastal enclaves, who take a more “disposable” view. But smart living doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style, or ignoring fun trends, as you “cozy up” your home. “The tried and true general wisdom is to purchase a good sofa set or sectional with a neutral-toned body and then dress up the room with more trendy things that can be changed out in a few years – pillows, lamps, even a fun ottoman or accent chair,” says Sheila Anderson, designer at Gustafson’s Furniture & Mattress, 808 W. State St., Rockford. Anderson points to a sumptuous Bassett sofa set in a warm shade of butter-soft cognac leather. “To me, it’s difficult to imagine anything much cozier than this,” she says. “And this set will endure the test of time without ever

looking like it’s out of style. The leather just keeps getting softer.” But even neutral tones come with fresh updates. “We’re seeing a lot of gray right now, including sofas made with leather in beautiful warm shades of gray, or gray fabrics that resemble a man’s suit,” says Anderson. Some have tiny white pinstripes; others are trimmed in oversized brushed nickel nail-heads. “Gray is definitely the ‘new’ neutral, especially the warm grays, which are nearly a taupe,” says Anderson. “It’s also a great backdrop for the ‘script handwriting’ motif seen in trendy pillow and lamp shade fabrics, or the muted botanical prints in tans, browns and grays.” Geometric designs still have a place in modern fabrics, but you won’t find a lot of florals these days. Hibernating at home during cold winter months requires a few excellent reading lamps, some ambiance lamps to

warm a room with soft light, and a truly comfortable recliner or sofa – perhaps even one with a built-in USB port for your laptop or tablet, or a motion recline remote that allows you to smoothly stop at any point of incline you choose, from sitting straight up to laying down flat, like the model by Southern Motion on display at Gustafson’s. ❚ Get SLW Home & Garden articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving. com and start your E-Edition today.

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I  W

Fearless Jesus O

ver and over, Jesus shows courage in the face of terrifying conditions. Imagine facing the certain persecution, torture and slow death that he knew would be his fate. Yet he walked into Jerusalem and confronted the moneychangers in the temple, knowing he would soon be delivered into the hands of hostile authorities. “And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves [for sacrifices]; and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. And he began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him. (Mark 11:15-18). In another instance, Jesus the carpenter is sleeping soundly in a boat on the sea while fishermen, who are used to being on the water, panic over an approaching storm. “A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41) Jesus teaches us we have nothing to fear, when we focus on the long run. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.) -- Janine Pumilia 12

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Y K

Fresh Tips for Game Day Dips W

hen family and friends gather together to watch the game, loading up the table with a variety of easy-to-grab, flavorful appetizers is a winning plan. After all, casual food and good times are what game day is all about. In the world of appetizers, dip is king. From savory to sweet, this simple tailgating party addition can take on flavors that span the globe, or that are as American and as beloved as the gridiron game itself. Keep it Light. A tailgating scene can seem overwhelming for those who don’t want to splurge all their day’s calories, so be sure to have lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables on hand. Start with your standard dippers – like sliced carrots, broccoli and cucumbers – or score big with unique vegetable dipper options – like snap peas, asparagus spears and radishes. This recipe for Cucumber Cups creates simple and crunchy bite-sized noshes with a delicious dip of Sabra Hummus in the center. For more great game day recipes, sabra.com/

into your game day strategy and watch as fans huddle up to fill their plates.

Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip 1 1 1 1 1/4 1/4 1 1

teaspoon red wine vinegar teaspoon olive oil tablespoon tomato paste teaspoon Dijon mustard teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon onion powder teaspoon smoked paprika cup Sabra hummus

Cucumber Cups

Whisk first seven ingredients together (vinegar through paprika). Add Sabra hummus and combine thoroughly.

2 1 1 1

English cucumbers container Sabra hummus teaspoon paprika bunch parsley, finely chopped

Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create a vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact. Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each with hummus, about 1 teaspoon each. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley. ❚

Serve Delightful Dippers. Potato and tortilla chips go hand-in-hand with tailgating festivities, but beyond these standards is a whole world of other dipping options.For a Mediterranean touch, go with flatbread, pita bread or pita chips. Instead of plain old butter rounds, opt for more texture with multi-grain crackers that include raw flax, chia or sesame seeds. Or, serve up a warm batch of buffalo wings with this smoky and spicy recipe for Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip. Offer Variety. A large spread of dippers calls for a wide assortment of scrumptious dips. As an alternative to sour cream or cheese-based dips – which are loaded with fat, preservatives and sodium – serve up an assortment of delicious Sabra Hummus. Hummus offers up the protein, iron and fiber that other dips lack. Incorporate a few of these dip tips Get SLW Kitchen articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today. Smart Living Weekly

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Excitement Builds for 10 Major Tournaments T he Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) has finalized plans for 10 tournaments to take place in the Rockford region between 2014 and 2016. Don Carter Lanes/Cherry Bowl will host five prestigious bowling tournaments over the next three years, including, in 2014, the Bowling Proprietors Association of American International Family Bowling Tournament, presented by QubicaAMF Worldwide, July 19-21. It’s the only bowling tournament today where parent/child teams compete for an international championship and $70,000 in scholarship awards. In the sport of lacrosse, the Rock River Cup, organized by NXTsports, has signed a three-year commitment to hold its tournament in the Rockford region in 2014, 2015 and 2016, at Sportscore Two. More than 90 teams are expected to participate in these tournaments each

year. The sport of lacrosse continues to see significant growth across the country and in the Midwest. Within a five-hour drive of the Rockford region, participation in lacrosse is higher than the national average. The local Ski Broncs water ski show team will host the National Show Ski Association Division I Show Ski Nationals once again, in August of 2015. This multi-day tournament features 14 teams and individual skiers competing in choreographed and competitive performances. The completion will utilize Shorewood Park in Loves Park with competition on the beautiful Rock River. Rockford hosted this tournament in 2013 as well as in 2003, 2007 and 2009. The Illinois-United States Specialty Sports Association will host three World Series fast pitch softball tournaments utilizing Sportscore One. The three tournaments, for divisions 12U A, 12 U B and

Women’s will take place July 25 - Aug 2. The RACVB estimates that, collectively, participants, coaches and fans that travel to the region for the 10 tournaments will spend more than $4 million, supporting 50 fulltime equivalent jobs in the hospitality sector. For the full story, see gorockford.com. ❚ Get SLW articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today.

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R  O R Growing up, Considine played football at Byron High School, where the Tigers won the state championship durContinued from cover ing his senior season. He starred at the “I knew it was time to hang it up,” University of Iowa, and was selected he says. “We just didn’t have the netby the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth work of people around us that we have round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In addihere in Byron. Football was awesome, tion to the Eagles, Considine played but we needed more stability in our lives for Jacksonville, Carolina, Arizona and to raise our five kids: 6-year-old Caden, Baltimore during his eight years in the 2-year-old triplets Cohen, Corben and league. Hadley, and 4-four-month-old Caiven.” “It was pretty surreal,” says Considine. “I’ve always been a realist, and maybe I was selling myself short, but I didn’t get caught up on big dreams. I was the type of kid who just put his head down and went to work. It didn’t happen overnight. I always worked to get better and it translated into an eightyear NFL career. I always went to work every day like it was my last day in Sean and Nicole Considine at home with their five children: Ca- the league. But I had a lot of help from people who den, Cohen, Corben, Hadley and Caiven.

Sean Considine

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believed in me.” Considine, who grew up a diehard Green Bay fan, has many fond memories. Early in his career with Philadelphia, he got the chance to play against quarterback Brett Favre at Lambeau Field, a place he visited as a 10-year-old with his father to watch their beloved Packers play. Although Considine’s Eagles lost a close game against the Packers, it’s an experience he won’t ever forget. “I’ve never been so emotional before a game,” he says. “Running out onto the field, I had such an adrenaline rush.” But the best memory was his final year, a magical season for both Considine and the Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco and linebacker Ray Lewis. Considine, a defensive back, played mostly special teams, a unit that was ranked tops in the NFL that season. “We might not have been the best or most talented team going into the playoffs, but man, it was a close-knit group of guys who loved to play, and did whatever it took to win,” Considine says. “It wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way.”


During Super Bowl week, Considine savored every moment surrounding one of America’s biggest spectacles: team gatherings, being interviewed by the national media, even a bizarre 30-minute power outage during the game. Each player was given 15 game tickets, which Considine shared with family, as well as his high school coach and another coach from Iowa. Besides the familiar faces in the stands, another 40 family members and friends made the trip to New Orleans without tickets, just to soak up the festive atmosphere. “It was thrilling for me to know that people who supported me all those years could be a part of the excitement,” he says. These days, the Considines are busy running their very active household. Sean has partnered with Headon’s Fine Meats and Catering in Creston, Ill., to open a mobile meat market called Headon & Considine’s Markets. Last year, the meat wagon made appearances in Byron, Dixon and Rockford; Considine says he plans to bring the market to festivals and sporting events in the future.

“I feel like I did when I walked on to Iowa’s football team,” he says. “I’m starting all over again. But I enjoy a good challenge.” This season, Considine has watched plenty of NFL games from the comforts of his home. Observing the speed and size of the players on TV has given Considine an even greater appreciation Considine and his family celebrate the Ravens’ victory at the of the determination and Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans. effort it takes to reach the professional ranks. “I’m rooting for Peyton Manning,” “Every second I spent in the NFL he says. “The things he’s doing at his was one more second than I ever age, and the way he plays the game, is dreamed about,” he says. “To do the impressive. I have a lot of respect for things that I did, to meet the people I did, him. But they’re going to have a huge and to win the games that I did, I feel challenge against Seattle. It should be a very privileged to have had that time.” fun game to watch.” ❚ As for Sunday’s showdown, Considine predicts a slugfest between Get SLW Right in our Region articles Denver – the NFL’s best offense – and every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving. Seattle, which boasts the league’s top com and start your E-Edition today. defense.

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Three Things Every Patient Should Know

W

ith millions of people newly covered by health insurance, and 11,000 more becoming eligible for Medicare every day, more people will be visiting doctors and hospitals. And while that’s a positive, patient advocate Ruth Fenner Barash warns that the U.S. health care system is not always the benevolent safety net many people believe it to be. “Patients and their loved ones cannot blindly turn themselves over to this massive, technology-based system and trust that it will care – or take care of them,” says Barash, who shares lessons learned from extensive health care experiences in a new book, “For Better or Worse: Lurching from Crisis to Crisis in America’s Medical Morass.” Barash offers these suggestions for patients and their loved ones. • Avoid the ER. Emergency rooms

were developed with the idea that few people would use them. “They’ve become very crowded, especially in cities, and patients might wait for hours. Sick people usually are not isolated, so waiting rooms also teem with germs,” says Barash. • Be Skeptical. Too often, we take the first thing we’re told as gospel, Barash says. “If you have the luxury of time, take some of that time to think things through, to research and get second opinions,” she says. Research your physician’s connections. When you’re referred to a specialist, ask why that particular person. Ask around about the physicians and health care providers with the best reputations. Ask, “How many times have you performed this procedure and what is your success rate?” • Ask what it costs – no matter who’s paying. Whether our hospital bills

are fully covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, or we’re paying a portion ourselves, we must all include cost in our discussions with health care providers. “Part of the blame for having the most expensive health care system in the world goes to us, the individuals, who don’t question purchases or shop for prices as we would for groceries, clothing, or furniture,” Barash says. “If a test or consultation is ordered, understand why. Is it really necessary? You can say no!” ❚

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BIFF Year Round Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 6 p.m. Gear up for the 2014 Beloit International Film Festival (opening Feb. 14) by catching some “BIFF Year Round” films shown at Bushel & Peck’s in Beloit. Vote for your favorites. Jan. 15: Jake Squared; Jan. 22: Jimmy in Plenk; Jan. 29: Human War; Feb. 5: Colegas (Buddies). 328 State St., Beloit. U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition Jan. 29-Feb. 2, daily. In its 19th year, this snow sculpting competition brings together the nation’s best snow artists. Also music, magic, refreshments. Riviera Park, Lake Geneva, Wis., (262) 248-4416, usnationals.org. Monster Jam Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Friday 7:30 p.m., Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels. These larger-than-life beasts capture the hearts of both young and old. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 9685222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com. The Fox on the Fairway Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 7-9, 2013, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 2 & 9, 3 p.m. Comedy about love and golf. Beloit Civic Theatre, Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre, Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 4th St., Beloit Wis. (608) 362-1595, beloitcivictheatre.org. Yukimi Chakai at Anderson Japanese Gardens Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 & 2 p.m. Enjoy a hot cup of genmaicha, roasted rice flavored tea, then go to the Guest House, where the yukimi chakai, a Japanese snow viewing ceremony, will be led by Kimiko Gunji, Professor Emeritus of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture. $45, call (815) 316-3306 to register. Largest Shark that Ever Lived Feb. 1-April 29. Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived will make its Midwestern debut at Burpee Museum of Natural History. This traveling exhibit highlights the evolution, biology and misconceptions of Megalodon, an enormous prehistoric shark that swam Earth’s oceans for 15 million years before it vanished 2 million years ago. Burpee.org. Mammal March! Feb. 1, 9-11:30 a.m. Join Severson Dells Biologist/Educator Greg Keilback for a hike that will be of moderate difficulty and fun of extreme quality. Free to members of “Friends of Severson Dells;” $3 per family non-members. Contact Severson Dells to register at (815) 335-2915.

The 9th Beloit International Film Festival will expand from four days to 10 this year. Pictured here is a scene from “Putzel,” one of many films that will be screened, voted a favorite at the Phoenix Film Festival.

Janesville Little Theatre: Sabrina Fair Feb. 7-9, 14-16, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Dinner both Saturdays. This romantic comedy follows the daughter of a wealthy family’s chauffeur who, as an adult, is wooed by the playboy son who once ignored her. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297. Paws Humane Society Fur Ball Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m. Giovanni’s Paws Humane Society’s Sixth Annual Fur Ball Dinner/Dance Fundraiser. Silent auctions, live auctions, raffles. Benefits community spay/neuter programs, humane education programs, and dog and cat adoption programs through Paws Humane Society. pawshs.org Touring Europe on Two Wheels Feb. 9, 2 p.m. Presented by Pam Steele and Terry Schuster of Oregon, Ill., “ordinary people” who made a non-traditional 1,350-mile bicycle vacation across much of Europe. This is about being open to the possibilities in each of our lives. Severson Dells Forest Preserve, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com. Beloit International Film Festival Feb. 14-23. Showing more than 150 films from 30-plus countries over 10 days, this 9th annual festival is larger than ever and specifics are too numerous to list here. Director and producer Mark Wood will serve as Honorary Chair this year. Buy tickets online, at the Visit Beloit box office at 500 Public Ave., or at the door. Beloitfilmfest.org. ❚ Smart Living Weekly

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Smart Dining Weekly ™

Our Picks of Outstanding, Local

Restaurants Driven to Serve You Best! Legend: D Dinner, L Lunch, Br Brunch, Bk Breakfast. Cost: $ under $12.50, $$ $12.50 - $25, $$$ $25+

Giovanni’s/Big Al’s Bar/Alchemy E UpscaleCasual/American. Three dining rooms. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford. (815) 398-6411. L M-F 11am-2pm; D M-Sat 5pm-10pm. Live entertainment in Big Al’s Bar, open late. $-$$.

2nd Cousin’s Bar & Grill E Casual/American. Burgers, tacos, salads, steak, seafood. Full bar. 6246 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 637-2660. LD M-F 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 8am to late. $.

JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar E Upscale-Casual/Japanese. Food cooked at your table. 2551 N. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 877-0505. L T-F 11:30am-2pm, Sat to 2:30pm; D M-Th 5-9:30pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun 4:30-9:30pm. $$.

abreo E Upscale-Casual. Tapas menu. 515 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 968-9463. D M-Th 5-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. Bar open late. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill E Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. Backyard Grill & Bar E Casual/American. 5390 Elevator Rd., Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-6677. 201 State St., Cherry Valley, Ill., (815) 332-4176. 6473 N. 2nd St., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 636-9430. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 2am, Sun noon-10pm. $-$$. Butterfly Club E Upscale-Casual/Fine Dining. 5246 E. Co. Road X, Beloit, Wis. (608) 362-8577. LD T-Th 5-9:30pm, F 4:30-10pm, Sat 5-10pm, Sun noon-8pm. Live bands. $$.

Joey C’s Cucina & Cocktails E Upscale-Casual. Italian specialties. 2583 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, (815) 6391200. LD M-T 4-10pm, W-Th 11am-9pm, F to 10pm, SatSun 4-10pm $. Leombruni’s Italian Village Pizza & Restaurant E Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lydia’s Café E Casual/American. Your friendly neighborhood café. 1710 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 2290322. BkL T-F 7am-1:30pm, Sat to 1pm, Sun 8am-1pm. $. Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria E Casual. Gourmet pizza, Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 633-7500. 5801 Columbia Pkwy., Rockford, (815) 227-5577. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$.

Cannova’s Pizzeria E Casual. 247 N. Main St., Galena, Ill., (815) 777-3735. LD daily. $.

Murphy’s Pub & Grill E Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, Ill. (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$.

Ciao Bella Ristorante E Upscale-Casual/ItalianAmerican. Extensive wine list; daily specials. 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 654-9900. LD M-F 11am-9pm, Sat 5-9pm. $$.

Olympic Tavern E Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$.

Costa’s Italian Ristorante E Upscale-Casual. Pizza, entrées. 133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. Dos Reales E Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-$$. Fifth Alarm Firehouse Pub E Casual/American. 120 N. Union St., Bryon, Ill., (815) 234-7000. LD daily 11am. $-$$.

Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub (formerly Jezebel Gourmet Bistro) E Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/ Burlesque-themed pub and eatery. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy.,

Visit NorthwestQuarterly.com/Dining to See Our Larger Dining Guide Online Smart Living Weekly e-subscribers: Click this Box to Go There Now!

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T  I

Developing Friendships M

ost Americans (75 percent) are not satisfied with their friendships; 63 percent lack confidence in even their closest friends; and almost half of us would choose to have deeper friendships rather than more friends. Those are the findings of a new study, The State of Friendship in America 2013. Dawna Hetzler, author of “Walls of a Warrior: Conquering the Fears of Our Hearts” offers the following tips: • First, identify the walls you have. We build walls in response to many things – real and perceived threats, fears, conditioning, rejection. Many of us put up walls to hide our weaknesses; if you have trouble asking for help, this may be you. • If the wall is unhealthy, identify the steps necessary to dismantle it. “One of my walls revolved around being needed too much,” Hetzler says. “I tend to take on a lot, and then exhaust myself getting it all done.” She realized she built a wall to prevent people from seeing that she really cannot do it all, and she pushed away those she feared might demand too much of her time and energy. She dealt with that wall by setting limits with herself and others. “I say no when I need to, which allows me to build friendships instead of pushing people away.” • Arm yourself with words of inspiration. Powerful words help when we need positive reinforcement or reassurance when the way ahead looks scary. Hetzler has found that calling upon a quotation that she believes in provides both. “Write down the quotes, Bible verses or other inspiration that have great meaning for you,” she says. Each day, read one, reflect upon the meaning, pray or meditate, and contemplate the message it holds for you. These words will stick with you, and you’ll have them to call upon when you need them,” she says. “When you begin taking down the walls, you’ll find you’re more at peace with yourself,” she says. “And that allows you to develop the wonderful relationships that come from trust and sharing.” ❚

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Y M

Banks Proceed Carefully Amid Tech Revolution By Jim Killam

I

magine that every automaker’s vehicles ran on its own type of fuel. Or, that every brand of computer used a different operating system and required its own, unique software. That will give you an idea what’s going on in the financial industry with mobile products designed to speed up transactions for customers. Mobile payment wallets? Payment by email? Payment by simply bumping phones? Your phone as your ATM card? With a dizzying array of ideas being tested and deployed, it’s difficult for smaller, local banks to know where to invest, and when. No universal standard is likely to emerge in the near future, says Sara Porter, Assistant Vice President for Application Support/eBanking at Alpine Bank, 6838 E. State St., Rockford. Alpine is moving carefully and deliberately into offering person-to-person electronic

payments, she says, always with customers’ security as the higher priority than simply rolling out the newest, unproven technology. “Technology has emerged so quickly,” she says, “and we took on mobile phones so fast. I think everybody’s trying to come into the arena to be the next big thing with it. No one is really setting a defining course of action. Everybody’s still kind of taking off onto their own projects.” Even during a technological revolution, though, banks and their customers need a standard of payment, Porter says. “If we had something that everybody adopted, then everyone would know how to use it,” she says. “Your kids could help. Your neighbor could tell you. You’d hear it at the grocer – this is how you do it.

“Even when all the debit card devices at stores were different and the payment keys were in different places, you would hear people say, ‘Why can’t these all be the same?’ And now they’ve made them a little more standardized for ease of use.” ❚ Get SLW Money articles every week. Visit NWQSmartLiving.com and start your E-Edition today.

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Smart Living Weekly - January 29, 2014